Taking a gentle approach to Yoga during pregnancy can be just what the doctor ordered. It may be just what the midwife ordered as well because it helps you cultivate a sense of confidence in your own body and your ability to give birth. Of course, each woman should consult her physician about her own needs just to be certain she doesn't have any high-risk conditions that may require special precautions.
We think that the best way to take full advantage of Yoga is to start your practice well before you're pregnant, or at least as soon as you receive the good news. Your Yoga practice can build a strong, healthy body and a stable mind, not only helping you conceive a child (by making you fit and relaxed) but also supporting you during the pregnancy, at birth, and afterwards. Many of our students continue their Yoga practice during their entire pregnancies, using the conservative principles that we outline in this book.
One of the unsung benefits of Yoga may be conceiving a baby when stress is the root cause of infertility. One memorable example of this idea is my (Larry's) students Dave and Adrian Lopez. Immersed in busy, demanding careers, they gave up Yoga. When they later decided to start a family, they tried unsuccessfully for three years to conceive despite repeated attempts and the best medical methods available
(yogic) view to them. Their physician finally suggested that perhaps their fertility problems were stress related and that they practice Yoga together — which they did. Sounds hard to believe, but after 30 days of practice, which included my weekly class and general conditioning DVD (flip to the appendix), Adrian became pregnant. She continued her Yoga practice until her eighth month and later gave birth to a big, beautiful baby boy.
¿«jABEtt We don't recommend starting any new fitness regime, Hatha Yoga included, in ' " the middle of a pregnancy. Conscious yogic relaxation and meditation, on the other hand, are right at any stage of your pregnancy, and may be helpful tools for labor as well. Your body, mind, and baby will be grateful to you!
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